Auckland Arts Festival cancels live events: Visual art, outdoor and online to go ahead

Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki | Auckland Arts Festival (AAF) has announced how the current Omicron outbreak has impacted the 2022 event, due to take place from 10 to 27 March across Tāmaki Makaurau. 

All live events and performances in venues, theatres, and outdoor spaces – 51 in total – will be cancelled.

However, the live-streamed world premiere of Nightsong’s A Stab in the Dark, starring Joel Toebeck and Alison Bruce; two free outdoor installations, United for Truth beach installation and Amanda Parer’s spectacular inflatable humanoids, Fantastic Planet; two international online works – Lament for Sheku Bayou and The Super Special Disability Roadshow; the perspective-changing Spoken Walls – A City in Verse poetry experience in the streets of Tāmaki Makaurau; a free, online recording of performances planned for the Siva Afi Festival; and all visual arts exhibitions will go ahead under the current Red Light setting in the COVID Protection Framework.

Other online presentations and exciting ideas for some Festival works are still being investigated. Those details will be announced separately.

Artistic Director Shona McCullagh says, “Heartfelt thanks goes to our artists, audiences, partners, sponsors and colleagues for their patience and support as the team have worked through the many different scenario plans and framework options that were pre-prepared in anticipation of another year with COVID interruptions. While we are delighted to have been able to retain some brilliant online and gallery events, and free outdoor installations, this outbreak has impacted our ability to deliver our beloved annual festival in its entirety, for the third time.

“The road to decision-making for each of our many shows and events has not been easy, but the first and most important element we kept in mind throughout the process was the health and safety of our artists, audiences, staff and crew.

“We are well aware of the short, medium, and long-term impacts this has on artists and the wider arts sector, who live to create, produce, and perform. This outcome – in which we cannot gather in person over a programme packed with joyful live performances and brilliant shared arts experiences – is deeply saddening. However, the Festival team and our artists are resilient and endlessly creative, and we will deliver a very special suite of safe events for our audiences in March, while at the same time turning our focus to 2023 with optimism and gusto,” McCullagh says.

A full list of affected events is below. Ticket holders will be contacted directly via the ticketing agency or venue. For more on AAF’s COVID-19 ticketing Terms and Conditions, please click here.

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